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Dilip Ghosh makes ‘U’ turn, says not in favour of division of Bengal




Within a few hours after state BJP President Dilip Ghosh stood by Union Minister John Barla and advocated in favour of a separate state for North Bengal, he made a ‘U’ turn and said that no one spoke about the division of the state.

Speaking at a programme in North Bengal on Monday evening, Ghosh said, “No one spoke about Bengal, we are not in favor of state division.” Ghosh’s reaction comes within a few hours after he was criticised within the party for comment on the North-South division of the state.

“No one has said anything about any part of Bengal. The people of North Bengal, the people of Jungle Mahal have been deprived for 60-65 years. They are still going to other states for jobs. Studying, going out for treatment. Shawl leaves, weeping leaves are somehow living life. The demands of human development have not been met,” Ghosh said.

“The grassroots miscreants are taking chances and torturing people. As a result, the residents of these areas think that if they work together, there will be no improvement. So, they have demanded a separate state. The people’s representatives in the area have raised the voice of the people there. We are not in favour of any division,” he added.

Sources close to Ghosh said that he had to swallow his own words after he spoke about the division of the state. Ghosh had said in a programme on Saturday, “The entire responsibility of this lies with Mamata Banerjee. 75 years after independence why do the people of north Bengal have to go to other states for jobs, education and healthcare facilities? In Jangalmahal the situation is the same. Why the women in Jangalmahal will have to depend on sal and tendu leaves for livelihood. Why do they have to go to Odisha, Ranchi and Gujarat for jobs”.

“If they (The BJP MPs) have raised such demands (Bifurcation of the state), then it is not unjustified,” he added.

The remarks of Ghosh triggered debate across the state including the state BJP itself. Ghosh’s standing beside Union Minister and MP from Alipurduar district John Barla who has been demanding a separate statehood for long was met with a strong reprisal from the party itself. Senior leaders like Locket Chatterjee and Rahul Sinha spoke against Ghosh on the issue.

Chatterjee who is also an MP from Hooghly had said, “We never want a bifurcation of the state. The culture of Bengal is different. We live in harmony and Bengal is very dear to each one of us. Bengal will remain Bengal from north to south and east to west.”

Chatterjee who took part in drawing portraits of Rabindranath Tagore and sang his songs on Sunday in a program in Hooghly said, “Rabindranath celebrated aRakhi Bandhan’. Those who have Rabindranath in their hearts and minds and their hearts and minds can never divide Bengal”.

National secretary of BJP Rahul Sinha without naming anyone said, “Those who want to change the name of the state and divide the state geographically are insulting Rabindranath Tagore. There is still a section of people in the state who want to divide Bengal,” he said. Sinha narrated how Rabindranath started Rakhi Bandhan in October 1905 to protest against the bifurcation of Bengal.

“This is the time we should remind ourselves of the thoughts of Rabindranath. We should take the message at the state and national level and make people aware of the significance of Rakhi,” he added.

Political analysts believe that this dissatisfaction within the party on the partition of Bengal forced Ghosh to change his stand on the issue.


Conspiracy to frame me in Anil Deshmukh-style: Nawab Malik




Maharashtra Minorities Affairs Minister Nawab Malik on Saturday made a startling claim that a conspiracy is underway to frame him in an ‘Anil Deshmukh-style fake case’, allegedly at the “behest” of some officials in central agencies – but did not identify them.

Talking to mediapersons, Malik claimed that he has acquired some e-mails and WhatsApp chats of officers of Central probe agencies “instigating” people to lodge false complaints against him.

“I have all the evidence with full details of the conspirators… I am going to lodge a complaint with Mumbai Police Commissioner and also Union Home Minister Amit Shah for a thorough probe and necessary action,” Malik asserted.

The Minister — who has launched a crusade against Nartcotics Control Bureau Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede – said that he has acquired solid evidence that “a plot is being hatched to trap him in a false case like that of former home minister Anil Deshmukh, currently in judicial custody.”

Malik added that for the past couple of months after he started his serial expose on Wankhede and the ‘farzi’ (fraudulent) rave party raid on the Cordelia Cruise on October 2, he and his family are being “shadowed” by some suspicious unknown persons.

“They are making enquiries about my family, my grandchildren, my own movements, clicking pictures of my home and offices… Last week, when I traveled abroad (Dubai), they had come again, but were given a hot chase by some people in my locality as they took unauthorised photos of my home,” Malik said.

Some youngsters on motorcycles pursued the duo in the car and intercepted them near the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, and questioned them.

“They claimed that they sped off in their car as they panicked and feared a beating from the youngsters… Subsequently, after we posted their photos on social media, people voluntarily came forward with details and information on the duo and their car, how one of them has been continuously stalking me and other things. Now, I shall lodge a police complaint against them,” Malik said.

The senior Nationalist Congress Party national spokesperson reiterated that he would not be cowed down by any Central agency’s officers “attempting to entrap him in a sham matter”, and vowed to continue his ongoing campaign on various fronts.

Against the backdrop of his startling revelations in the past couple of months, the state government had recently enhanced the security cover for Malik.

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AAP leader Sanjay Singh accuses Yogi govt of caste bias




 Aam Aadmi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh on Saturday trained his guns on the Yogi Adityanath government for not talking to the family of the Prayagraj victims and charged it with caste bias.

On the Prayagraj incident, Singh, in an audio message, said: “Whatever happened in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj on November 24 is more gruesome than the Hathras incident. It is a matter of shame that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has not spoken to the bereaved family yet, which shows that the Uttar Pradesh government practices caste discrimination and supports it.”

Four members of a Scheduled Caste family — a man (50), his wife (45), their daughter (16) and speech impaired son (10) — were found murdered at their home on November 25.

According to members of the extended family, the girl may have been raped before her death. They have accused a neighbouring “upper caste” family of the crime.

“This heinous crime took place at a time when BJP was celebrating Constitution Day across the nation. If the party had upheld the values of the Constitution seriously, then the last person from the most deprived section of the society would not have had to face such a difficult time,” the AAP leader said.

“I met their extended family. Brother of the deceased serves in the Army. He is serving the nation. Even his wife said that she feels unsafe there. All this is possible because of police’s recklessness and goondaraj in Yogi Adityanath’s regime,” Singh stated, adding, “The same family was being troubled by their neighbours since 2019. They filed an FIR but police did not help them.”

“In 2020, again they went to the police for help but no action was taken against the perpetrators and on November 24, they were killed in such a gruesome manner. After a commotion, police have registered an FIR with charges including gang rape and murder against 11 named persons, eight of whom have been arrested so far,” he said.

According to the police, a sharp weapon may have been used to attack the family as there were grievous injuries on their bodies.

The girl’s body was found in a room inside the house, while the other three bodies were found together in the courtyard.

“Some people have been taken into custody for questioning,” the Prayagraj police chief told the media.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met the victims’ family members on Friday.

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Maha back to pre-pandemic days as all lockdown restrictions go




In a significant decision, the Maharashtra government on Saturday lifted all lockdown restrictions with conditions, allowing economic, social, cultural, sports and entertainment activities as before the pandemic days, with major emphasis on full vaccination, an official statement said here.

As part of the easing, strict Covid appropriate behaviour will remain mandatory as per the rules, said Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte in his 5-page order.

The government has decreed that all public transport will be permitted only for the fully-vaxxed as also for entry to malls, shops, establishments, ticketed or non-tickets events, programmes, shows, public gatherings, where all the organisers shall also be fully vaccinated.

All fliers to Maharashtra from any international destination shall be governed by the Central government rules but all domestic passengers must either be fully vaccinated or carry an RT-PCR test report with 72 hours’ validity.

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